I Just Want to Know That I’m Not Crazy

Hey, folks! Heather here. I would like to introduce you all to fellow PGI investigator Nancy. She’s an amazing investigator, a fabulous case assistant,  first-time blog poster, and a wonderful asset to our team. Enjoy her post and make sure to comment!

“I just want to know that I am not crazy….”

Imagine seeing something in your own home or office that you can’t explain, don’t understand, or that scares you. Maybe you have heard someone talking and you know that you were home alone. Have you ever put something down and went back and it’s moved, or a door opens and/or closes by itself. Think about how you would feel experiencing this on a weekly or daily basis. When you tell friends or family they just shake their head, suggesting you are just seeing things, your eyes were playing tricks on you, or you were asleep. After a while, with everyone doubting your experience, you begin doubting yourself! Sometimes to the point of asking yourself the same question, “Well am I crazy?” Sound familiar?

A 2013 Harris Poll found that 42% of Americans believe in ghost (Shannon-Missal, 2013).

“Nearly one-in-five U.S. adults (18%) say they’ve seen or been in the presence of a ghost, according to a 2009 Pew Research Center survey. An even greater share – 29% – say they have felt in touch with someone who has already died.” (Lipka, 2013).

I do believe that some people who have said they have experienced paranormal activities may have personal issues, such as drugs or even chemical imbalances.  This can take away from the fact of your own experience and may cause people not to believe you or they are able to easily shake it off as a coincidence.

But, during a recent investigation, along with 2 other people, I witnessed a shadow person walk up and down the hallway several times. (Yes, encountering things like this now excite me.)  People have asked why a nice person like myself investigates the paranormal (I don’t like the term “ghost hunter”). They go on to explain they would be scared to death of a “haunted house” but this comes to the reason I do this… let’s back up a few years……

When I was much younger I had “unexplainable” things happen to me and I stopped talking about them because NO ONE believed me. Growing up, I had an intense fear of the dark and the feeling of death bearing down on me every minute. I convinced myself that a lot of the things that happened to me were my imagination, but deep down inside I knew they weren’t. As an adult I have seen some of the most expensive doctors and they have assured me I’m sane (I’ve been tested) so what in the world could make me think I was losing my touch with reality?

A few years ago for my birthday, even though he doubted my belief in ghosts, my sweet husband sent me on an investigation with a wonderful person named Andy (Andy was the head of a local paranormal group). I thought, as my husband did, that one night would answer some of my questions and that would be the end of it.  This instead fueled a fire inside me to learn more and experience more things. After getting some of my own equipment and attending many investigations with Andy’s team, I started investigating on my own and joined in on a few “guest investigations” with other groups. The more investigations that I completed, with the help of family and friends, the more I realized that I could not help people effectively as a “guest.” So I started looking for a team to join. That is when I found Paranormal Georgia Investigators (PGI) and for the first time in my life I felt semi-normal.

Several of PGI’s clients have looked at me and said “I sure hope you find something, I mean I hope you don’t find something, huh I mean….”  And I say “You hope we find some answers, whether they are natural or paranormal, that will put your mind at ease.” They look at me and say “I just want to know I’m not crazy.”  Boy, do I understand exactly how they feel!

This process started out with me looking for some answers, which lead to wanting to help others and I realized that along the way I was overcoming a lot of my childhood fears! No longer did I cry on car trips at night in the rain, no longer did I hate the quiet or the dark, and in my journey I tried to learn to scuba dive and even have taken a few airplane trips. Now I may never get the answers that I am looking for, but I think that the side effects have totally been worth it! Thank you Chris and PGI team members for believing in me and letting me be a part of something so interesting!

References

Shannon-Missal, L., (2013), Americans’ Belief in God, Miracles and Heaven Declines

Lipka, M., (2013), 18% of Americans say they’ve seen a ghost

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Piezoelectric Properties of Rocks or Why Limestone Isn’t Even a Factor in Hauntings

Oh, yeah. You saw that title and you either got excited because SCIENCE! Or you popped that mouse arrow over the Back button because SCIENCE!!!!

Well, don’t worry. Don’t click on that horrible button. Just stick with me. I promise not to throw a bunch of equations or big words at you if you promise to stick with it for a few minutes while we discuss geology and why we, paranormal investigators, record the geology of each client’s property

Cool? Cool.

For many of us who avidly watch Ghost Hunters as well as other paranormal shows, or who frequent paranormal message boards and podcasts, there’s this theory bouncing around out there that limestone formations help in the manifestation of paranormal activity, that somehow the limestone acts as a storage device that records residual paranormal activity or even becomes a sort of electrical outlet for paranormal activity to “plug into” in order to use the energy from the rock to manifest.

The only problem with this idea is the structure of limestone itself. Limestone is a sedimentary rock, mostly made up of skeletal fragments of marine organisms (a.k.a. dead coral). There’s really no crystalline structure to the limestone itself that would contribute to any sort of electromagnetic properties. This is where the word piezoelectric comes into play.

There are several types of rock, that when mechanical pressure is applied, an electric charge will accumulate. You can apply pressure all day long to limestone and it isn’t going to create an electrical charge, no matter how much you try. It will eventually just shatter. Quartz rock, on the other hand, is the most well-known of these “piezoelectric” rocks. Heck, for $10 you can purchase Flash Rocks from Amazon. It’s just two quartz rocks that you can rub together and create an electric charge, much like rubbing your sock feet across a carpeted floor and touching a door knob in winter. It’s a perfect elementary school science project that you can try at home. The cool thing is that it’s not just quartz that has piezoelectric properties, it’s any quartz-type or quartz-rich rock, i.e. quartzite, granite, gneiss, and mylonite. We think that because small quantities of quartz can sometimes be found between layers of limestone that this has helped perpetuate the myth of “limestone aids in the manifestation of paranormal activity.” It’s not the limestone, people, but the quartz.

But, here’s the thing. Quartz by itself, just sitting there, does not create an electric charge and does not contribute to ghostly happenings in your home. If you buy a huge piece of quartz to display on a bookshelf, your house isn’t going to suddenly become haunted. If you buy a fancy quartz crystal to wear around your neck, it isn’t going to give you any special electrical or psychic powers. Remember, the piezoelectric effect only occurs when mechanical pressure is applied to the rocks. So, how do we apply this pressure? Either with a structure (building, house, etc.) or seismic activity creates the necessary pressure. The problem with a typical family-size home in the United States is that it really doesn’t exert all that much force, or pressure on the ground itself. Typically, houses can be one- or two-storeys but are also spread out. When you’re talking about a structure exerting enough force to cause a piezoelectric effect in rock, you would need to look at tall office buildings or skyscrapers. And if we look at the mechanical pressure caused by earthquakes, then you need a pretty strong earthquake in the close vicinity of the quartz or quartz-type rock. A 3.0 magnitude quake every seven or eight years just really isn’t going to cut it. But I doubt anyone would be able to live, survive, or investigate an area of quartz deposits that experiences 7.0 magnitude earthquakes on a daily basis.

I guess what I’m trying to say is COULD that quartz deposit sitting several hundred or thousand feet below your house have anything to do with your late Aunt Clara walking the halls at night? It’s doubtful. Could paranormal activity, in a skyscraper, sitting on a hunk of granite, be caused by the piezoelectric effect of said skyscraper on said granite? Possibly. Do we record the geology of your property when we investigate your home or business? Yes. Because we believe that if we stick with this field long enough and collect enough raw data, that we will someday be able to say, definitely, “Stop telling people that the rocks under their houses cause paranormal activity. Because it doesn’t.”

Next time we break out the science here – FULL MOONS! Inducing the crazy or just a bunch of hokum?

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War Was Here

Hey, folks! Heather here. Allow me to introduce you to Clint. He is a founding member of our group, served as our first Director, and is one of our team sensitives. Currently, he’s writing a book! I’ll let him tell you all about it, as well as a personal experience he had while working on said book.

I have been conducting research for my book called War Was Here, for over a year.  This book is a photographic documentary of General Sherman’s Atlanta Campaign and the March to the Sea.  I will be documenting the current conditions of the battlefields and other significant locations on the campaign’s route through Georgia.

Several weeks ago I was scouting a location where the Battle of New Hope Church was fought.  This battle was fought along what is known as the Dallas Line.  It was a line of Confederate troops that stretched from Dallas, Georgia, to Pickett’s Mill.  There is a church there, two actually, as well as some trenches, and the cemetery.  The churches and cemetery are on a low ridge and as you stand in the cemetery and face in a north-westerly direction, you will see the cemetery continues down a gentle slope to the tree line.  This cemetery was here during the battle, but was much smaller, and the wooded area beyond the cemetery was open.  Confederate troops were positioned in the cemetery and out of respect for it they refused to entrench themselves or even use the grave markers for cover.

The property at the tree line is posted and I do not recommend going in there without permission, but if you stand at the tree line you can look into the woods and see a fairly deep ravine.  This low area and ravine, as well as several other ravines located further back and a little more north (between some neighborhoods), were nicknamed “Hell Hole” after the battle.  The Union troops were unable to break the Confederate line and the Union troops took a beating.  Many dead were scattered across the field of battle and the ravines were filling up fast with wounded and dying soldiers, as well as those just trying to get out of the line of fire.  These soldiers were stuck there until nightfall, when those that were able, slipped back to the Union lines under the cover of darkness.

While standing at the tree line looking into the ravine, I was overcome with an overwhelming sense that I was not alone.  I felt heavy, almost like I could not stand up on my own. I felt exhausted and my head got a little swimmy.  The most memorable part was when my mouth went completely dry and I could barely get my tongue off the roof of my mouth. That’s when suddenly I began to taste that metallic, coppery taste of blood.  I had been at the tree line less than a minute when it hit me.  I can assure you that I surely did not stay a minute longer.  I had not been prepared for that, but I will be when I go back on the anniversary of the battle to make images for my book.

If you are interested in my book please feel free to check out the links below.  One is to my Kickstarter page to help with funding and the other is to my blog about the book and will have updates as I progress from location to location making the images.

War Was Here Kickstarter

War Was Here Blog

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Shadow People

Hey, folks! Heather here! I’m proud to introduce you all to one of our investigators, Lani. In this post, she recounts her experiences with shadow people and shares a few theories she has encountered in her research on this fascinating subject. Enjoy!

Shadow people have been an obsession of mine since an early age, partly due to curiosity and partly due to personal reasons. I have conducted quite a bit of research and I am baffled at the vast amount of individuals that have experienced shadow people in the past and/or encounter them on a regular basis.

My research has led me to the realization that shadow people mean different things to different people. So what are shadow people? Where do they come from and why are they here? There is an abundant amount of theories out there trying to pinpoint what these dark humanoid figures are. One theory is that they are a fabrication of our imagination. Obviously this theory stems from skeptics that have never experienced a shadow person. They continue to say that it is the work of our over-active imaginations, our minds playing tricks on us. Some even speculate that there are natural causes that lead us to believe that we are seeing a shadow person. I agree that the human mind, especially in a frightened state, can in fact play tricks on us. But can these mind tricks account for so many occurrences? I think not.

Theorists also consider that these shadows could be time travelers. This theory I find very interesting but less plausible. They suggest that the shadows have come from the future and possess technology that we cannot conceive of yet.

There are theories out there that suggests shadow people are the shadows or essences of sleeping individuals that are having out of body experiences. It is thought that while we sleep, we all travel outside of our body and the shadows we are experiencing are the ephemeral astral bodies of these twilight travels.

There are also theories that shadow people are demonic in nature and will exhibit an aggressive disposition when encountered. The thought is that if we experience a shadow person that a catastrophic event is soon to follow. This, in my opinion, is mainly because of the malicious feeling that is associated when we encounter shadow people. This simply could be that we are naturally frightened when the experience occurs, which in turn leads us to believe that there is malevolent intentions.

Other theories suggest that shadow people are simply another type of ghost. However, they do not have the same characteristics that a ghost has. Ghosts are generally see-through and misty white, whereas shadow people are dark in nature and have mass that you cannot see through. Regardless of their label, shadow people could very well be more than just one type of being.

My experience with a shadow person happened between the ages of six to twelve. I grew up in a house that was somewhat older and my bedroom was the only bedroom that was exposed to the back yard, all other family members bedrooms were facing towards the front yard. Quite often after I went to bed I would see a man-shaped shadow standing in the corner of my room. Sometimes I would only see part of his silhouette and sometimes all of him. Sometimes I would not see him at all but I could sense him. He would stand in the corner of my room and it was apparent that he was darker than the space around him. Looking back and knowing what I know now, I do not think his intentions were malicious, he just petrified me. I did not only experience his energy at night, this is just the time that I noticed it the most. I could always sense his energy when he was about to appear and felt it until he was gone.

In addition to the shadow man that regularly visited, one night I saw an older lady as plain as day float across my bedroom floor. She looked as if she was from the early 1900’s because of the way she was dressed. It looked as if she was gently smiling at me as she floated across the floor and disappeared into the wall that led to the back yard. I have always felt I was sensitive to energies around me and maybe that is why I was seeing these visitors. I got the sense that the ghostly apparitions were somehow tied to the back yard. Often when cutting through the back yard to go to a friend’s house, I found myself running because I felt someone was watching me. My back yard had a completely different feel from the front yard at my house. There were a few times at night that I would hear, what I thought to be, knocking on my window and I would pull the covers over my head.  I knew that my windows were so high up that no one could possibly reach them and the trees did not go up that high.

Once we moved from that house, around the age of 13, I had no problems sleeping alone. I did not experience the shadow man again until around 16. Although I did not physically see him I felt his energy. For the most part I wasn’t as scared as I was when I was younger. Even to this day, often I feel I see shadows out of the corner of my eye, only to look and nothing is there.

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Perchance to Dream

Heather-DadVery recently, I marked the 16th anniversary of my father’s passing. January 30th is never an easy day for me and even though I miss him all the time, that day is the worst. I always picture him at the funeral home and I remember the fresh pain of losing his wisdom, easy humor, and quick smile. Tom Scarbro is one of the main reasons I became a paranormal investigator. We would sit and talk about ghosts and UFOs and cryptozoology and everything paranormal and unexplained. He would end every conversation with “Do you ever think they’ll prove it?” and I would confidently answer, “Yes. They will.” I do wish he were here to talk to about all of the experiences I’ve had in the last six years. I know he would avidly listen to every word and interject his own ideas and opinions. Would he go on an investigation with me? I have no idea. That question will never be answered. My mother swears up and down that for several months after his death, she heard him walking the floors of our old West Virginia home. The creaking would always happen late at night, his usual time for a late-night kitchen raid, and said creaking would start at the bedroom door, move down the hall, through the living room, into the kitchen, and back. The activity subsided once we buried his ashes in the Scarbro family plot near Paint Creek, West Virginia. I didn’t witness or observe my father’s late-night wanderings after his passing, but I do truly believe that my father visited me in one of my dreams.

I know that in many Greek Orthodox communities, the faithful believe that newly-departed souls linger nearby for the first forty days and that experiencing your loved one during that time is not uncommon. I wasn’t raised Greek Orthodox (Yoo hoo! Presbyterian! Right here!), but I do believe there may be something to this idea of the dead lingering close to the familiar before they pass on.

I’m pretty much a non-practicing Christian now-a-days, but I can tell you that at least one Bible verse sticks out in my head when I think of my father. It’s John 14:2 and it states, In my Father’s house there are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. This wasn’t his favorite verse but it reminds me of the dream I had with my father shortly after he died.

I found myself walking down a street not unlike those I rode my bicycle on as a child. Concrete, rough, just wide enough for parked cars on either side and one car to drive down the middle. As I walked down this street, I saw many homes that looked like your typical suburban Charleston, West Virginia houses. They were small, one-story, aluminum siding, neat, postage-stamp yards. And I walked up to one as if I lived there, even though I had never seen this home before. I walked through the front door, took a left into the living room, and there sat my father. He was dressed to the nines in a very dapper suit and as soon as he saw me, he stood up. He walked over to me, took up my right hand, placed his right hand at my waist, and we began to dance a waltz. There was no music, just sunlight, peace, and joy at seeing my father again. And we looked at each other and just danced.

And then I woke up.

Why do I think my father actually visited me in a dream and that it wasn’t just my subconscious trying to grasp at straws? Because this was so out-of-character for both of us. My father didn’t dance except to do, as Billy Crystal called it, “the white man’s overbite” and my dancing was of the 1980s nature. Neither of us had ever waltzed and any dream my subconscious made up would have involved a lot of smart-ass conversation and laughter.

When people tell me of dreaming of their loved ones, I believe them. I don’t discount it, because whether it’s a true visitation or not, it is certainly healing.

I haven’t dreamed of my father since then. We buried his ashes in early April, 1998, almost three months after he died. The activity in my mother’s house stopped and I never dreamed of him again.

But I’ll never forget how wonderfully we danced together.

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Paranormal Georgia Investigations Made the News!

And, it happened. We found ourselves arriving at the CNN center on a cloudy Monday, ready to tackle a national TV news interview in the spirit of Halloween. Did we pull it off? Judge for yourselves. Have a safe and happy holiday everyone!

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Busy, Crazy Halloween

N7K_2683

Waverly Hills Sanatorium. Photo by Heather Dobson.

Halloween is a busy time of year for us. October is a crazy, wonderful month for paranormal teams across the country. Many of us are speaking at public libraries and other events, promoting ghost tours and doing interviews. It’s an exciting time of year to be a paranormal investigator and it gives us an opportunity to talk to the general public about what we do and why we do it.

What always surprises us, though, is that our calendar quickly fills, from mid-September through late November, with weekend client investigations.

When our clients call us asking for help and understanding with paranormal activity and they request us to perform an investigation, we typically schedule them on Friday or Saturday nights. This gives all of our investigators an opportunity to investigate late into the night and not worry about work or school obligations the next day. Typically, from December through August, we have one investigation a month. But when September rolls around, the email requests for investigations come hard and fast, we find ourselves investigating every weekend for two months, and we’ve always wondered why the appearance of jack-o-lanterns in the stores makes our calendar fill up so quickly. And I think I’ve discovered why.

Summer is probably the busiest time of year for all of us. The kids are out of school and this is the one time of the year when most of us travel for major vacations. The kids are taking off for various church/summer/athletic/art/academic camps and we parents are chasing after them. Then, it’s all-day pool parties followed by late-night cook-outs with friends and family and we all tumble into bed, sunburned, tired, and content.

Then, school starts. The kids get back into a routine, we aren’t out late because of that 5:30/6:00 AM wake-up call, and as the weather turns colder and the days become shorter, our activities stay closer to home. We’re watching football games in the living room with chili cooking on the stove and we may still have evening campfires, but we’re all in bed by 9PM. And this means we start paying more attention to what is going on in our homes.

I firmly believe that we have so many investigations this time of year not because people see the ghost decorations in Target and think, “Oh, yeah! We have a ghost! Let’s call some Georgia paranormal investigators!” I think it’s because our focus turns more inward, more homeward, and we finally sit back and notice our surroundings and what is going on around us. And we finally have the time and energy to hear the footsteps and notice the flickering lights. And the client emails roll in.

Either that or the ghosts are gearing up for their annual Halloween extravaganza. Sounds legit!

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Haunted Hawai’i

Hey, everyone! Heather here! Our resident investigator, charter member, and sensitive Tammy has written an awesome post about her recent trip to Hawai’i and how the trip affected her paranormal sensibilities. Enjoy!

For the record, I don’t usually spend my vacation days looking for haunting experiences.  That said, when we arrived in Hawaii and started planning excursions, I found an opportunity to experience the eerie.  In fact, there were a number of places and stories that fit right into that file in my brain labeled PARANORMAL.

Because of the strong presence of the elements in Hawaii, just being there awakens something mystical in the open-minded visitor.  Here molten fire oozes into the Pacific waters, pushing steam and heat into the air and forming new land of lava rock.  The trade winds blow coolly over the lanai as the sun melts into the horizon.  High on Mauna Kea in winter, snow covers the mountain and locals can snowboard and surf on the same day.  Having so many biomes in one location is magical.

In addition to natural elements of the islands, there are places of great spiritual and historical significance to the Hawaiian people.  Such a place is called a heaiu, or temple.  One particular temple was the perfect side trip on our journey to the northern part of Hawaii Island – Mo’okini Heaiu.  This 1500-year-old heaiu was home to spiritual gatherings, some of which involved human sacrifice.  The war god was invoked here and on the rock pictured below, human sacrifices had their flesh stripped from the bones.  Some bones were ideal for making large fishhooks.  I know.  That’s creepy.

SacrificeRock

The feeling surrounding the heiau, even on the beautiful coastline nearby, is lifeless.  The only sound is the wind rushing through dry grasses amid the rocky soil.  Even the sight of Maui in the distance does nothing to lessen the grim impact of walking along the path where many took their last footsteps.  It doesn’t take any clairvoyant skill to soak up the sadness, terror, and spiritual fervor that must have been overwhelming during ceremonies.

Miles down the coastline in Keauhou is The End of the World.  Not literally, no – though it could be for you if you jump from the cliffs in the wrong place.  The End of the World is the site of a great battle and the subsequent burials of hundreds of people who fought over changing beliefs and practices in early Hawaiian history.  The surf crashing into the lava rocks is an incredible sensory experience and a visitor can imagine the juxtaposition of this beautiful scenery against the gruesome scenes of death nearby.

HawaiiCoastline

Most of our adventures were on Hawaii Island, but we did go to Oahu for the specific purpose of visiting Pearl Harbor and the North Shore.  Pearl Harbor provided the opportunity to honor our service men and women who so freely sacrifice for our country.  We were able to take a boat to the USS Arizona Memorial and stand over the remains of the formidable battleship that sank in the harbor with hundreds of men hopelessly trapped inside.  As you can imagine, this can be a taxing emotional experience for anyone, but especially for an empathic soul like me.  The picture below shows the sheen of oil on the water.  This oil is still leaking at the rate of a few quarts a day from the ship.  The black swirls that find their way to the surface are called the “black tears of the Arizona.”

USSArizona

Some report they hear sounds of banging from the ship, as if men are still trying to escape.  In reality, we do know that there are men who survived and lived with such intense survivor’s guilt that their final wish was to have their remains scattered or interred with those of their lost brothers in the harbor.   That knowledge, the real film footage from the theater, and the flag flapping in the breeze against the white memorial all contribute to the eerie sadness of this place.

I guess the moral of this story is that if you are interested in and open to the paranormal, you can find experiences everywhere, even on vacation.  Who knows?  Maybe your condo will be haunted . . .

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Case Study #5 – Family

My house is not haunted, but there is paranormal activity here. I have heard my name called out when no one is home with me except my airhead dog and geriatric cat. I have seen shadows move across walls when no one is moving in the room. I have heard my voice mimicked in my own ear, clear as a bell, on a bright summer morning. And I have heard my daughter speak to something in the night. Have I had my home investigated by the very team of which I’m proud to be a part?

No.

I can hear you all, saying incredulously, “WHAT?!?” to your computer screens.

I know what is happening and it doesn’t bother me. Not in the slightest. Maybe, someday, when our schedule is quiet and my fellow investigators are bored, then sure. I’ll pack the kids off for a weekend at Grandma’s and we can scour this place with our equipment and senses. And probably capture not one damned bit of evidence. But I’ll be OK with that. Because I think of whatever is here as our “silent” family member. A freeloader who doesn’t pay rent but, then again, doesn’t raid the fridge.

But this post isn’t about me. It’s about my mother.

She moved to Georgia, from West Virginia, almost eight years ago. After a stint in an apartment, she moved into a home at the outer edges of Acworth. It’s a cute little three-bedroom, two-story house and she loves it. And all was going well with her move-in until weird things started happening. At first, she noticed a bath scrunchy had been moved from the shower head to a basket. She hadn’t moved it and no one had used that bathroom. “Oh, well,” she thought, “maybe I moved it and forgot.” And then more odd things occurred.

She called me one day in a tizzy. “My vent! Over my stove! It just turned on by itself! And I’m pushing every button on this danged thing and it’s not turning off!”

By itself? I thought. Now, that’s weird. In all my years doing this I had never encountered appliances acting of their own accord. I told her to reset the breaker for the kitchen and chalked it up to faulty wiring or crappy vent.

Until two weeks later when I was at her house and witnessed the dishwasher turning on by itself. There is no timer setting on this dishwasher and my mother hadn’t touched it while we were there. Darned thing just switched on and you could hear water gushing. That’s when I knew weird stuff was afoot.

When sitting on her couch, hearing her front door open, and footsteps trooping through the foyer while the front door was locked and shut and she was looking straight at it, that’s when my mother said, “Alright. That’s it. Bring in your team. I want to know what’s going on.”

Our investigation was quiet. Nothing out of the ordinary happened. We investigated the whole house and during our downstairs session, we clearly heard a woman giggle on the second floor landing. No women were upstairs because we were all downstairs being quiet. Other than that, the night was still.

When I presented my mom with our evidence (minimal) and personal experiences (benign), her outlook and attitude on the whole situation changed. We told her that she had just moved in, painted, adjusted, and changed the house. That was sure to stir up energies already present in her home. It could also be that whatever is there is trying to get her attention.

Since my father died 15 years ago, my mother has been lonely. She is active socially and lives near us, but coming home to an empty house each day can be something else entirely. She treats the paranormal activity as she would a roommate. On many nights, Mom still hears footsteps downstairs while she tries to fall asleep. The appliances now all behave and the bathroom scrunchies stay put. Mom, it turns out, also has a not-so-silent roommate who has made her presence known and pops up every now and then to remind Mom that she is still there. And my mother no longer worries about her house. She’s a lot like me in that respect.

Just don’t ask her about the possum in her garage. That’s a WHOLE other story!

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Misconceptions of the Paranormal

Hey, all! Heather here! The following post is from our Charter Investigator and current Assistant Director Jordan. Enjoy!

It should be understood that not everybody has a belief or interest in the paranormal, and that is completely fine. We here at PGI completely understand. However,  it’s usually found that the people who want to criticize paranormal investigations and investigators don’t take the time to research what they are criticizing. Sure people see what’s on TV, but not all paranormal investigators operate the same way.

The word ‘paranormal’  gets tossed around very often these days. Most likely because of the growing popularity of paranormal TV shows and other forms of ‘Para-tainment’. But what is the paranormal? Paranormal refers to anything outside ‘the normal’. Paranormal DOES NOT equal ghosts! Paranormal can refer to anything from the spiritual/supernatural, to the extra terrestrial, to cryptozoological, and so on. Now, we’re not saying there is a ghost of a Sasquatch or a Yeti flying a UFO in your house screaming Get out, but ‘Paranormal’ is a blanket term for all of these and is most identified with ghosts/spirits. Also, on the same note, if a place has paranormal activity it DOES NOT make that place haunted. It just means that there could possibly be activity going on that hasn’t quite been explained as of yet.

Not everybody in the field is a believer, and that is INCREDIBLY important for the future of the paranormal field. There are a healthy amount of skeptics in the field and the field NEEDS that skepticism. It is important for investigators to use that skepticism to find normal reasons that could be misidentified as potential paranormal activity. A skeptic’s primary job is go in and attempt to disprove what is potentially going on. When you can not logically or scientifically explain what is going on, then you have something paranormal (again meaning ‘Outside-of-the-normal’). It should not be assumed that everyone who investigates the paranormal is a believer. That is not the case.

On the flip side of the argument, just because someone might be a believer does not make them wrong. There are a large number of reasons a person could be a believer whether they’ve had some undeniable personal experience or captured a piece of evidence that just cannot be explained to the most logical or scientific sense. If someone does not believe or have interest in the paranormal because they think or feel science or religious beliefs dictate otherwise, that’s fine too. But one shouldn’t sit here and tell all the others who are interested that they’re wrong or imply that they are dumb for having an interest in the paranormal. The people who investigate have obviously have some personal reasons that drew them towards the subject, or some people just have an interest in it and investigate because of said interest. And that is completely OK.

There was an argument stating that paranormal investigators do not help people. We beg to differ. We can’t speak for any other investigators or teams, but there are MANY cases of paranormal investigators giving peace of mind to a client. If a client has something going on that they can not explain and requests the aid of a team to go in to see what they can disprove (or prove) just to give the client a better understanding of what is or isn’t going on, then a client’s needs are met. A large percentage of the time, you can disprove almost every claim. Normally with whatever the outcome of the investigation, this eases whatever the clients thoughts were about the goings-on in their home or business and however the client wants to continue after investigators do or don’t find anything is entirely up to them. Again, sometimes not everything can be explained or maybe the client is looking to go a bit deeper in their search for answers, it is perfectly acceptable to refer a client to other sources, people, and teams in the paranormal community in order for them to get the answers they need.

On a lighter note, paranormal investigators are not Ghostbusters. With as much as that is a long-loved film (And who doesn’t? It’s a classic! Personally, it’s one of my favorite films. I know I’m not the only one!), that is far from the truth. Paranormal investigators do not drive around in the Ecto-1 or run around with proton packs zapping “class 5 full roaming vapors” (as cool and fun as that may sound). There is little we do in the ‘busting’ area. We investigate. Plain and simple. When a client calls a team in, equipment (video recorders, audio recorders, temperature gauges, and electromagnetic field detectors) is set up and records for however long a team is investigating. What is collected is not evidence, it is data. Once the data is collected it goes through a rigorous review and what is pulled from the data via audio, video, etc is potential evidence of something paranormal. Once all pieces of potential evidence are collected, they are then again re-reviewed to look for any logical or scientific explanations as to why it is not paranormal. If nothing can be explained, then this piece of evidence is given to the client with an explanation as to who found it, where it was found, and what it means to the client. Not every piece of evidence given to a client means it’s officially a ghost/spirit/entity. It just means what was found can’t be explained at the moment, but maybe at a later time it can possibly be explained.

To end, it is extremely important to know that no one person has all the answers about the paranormal and the paranormal field. ‘Paranormal’ refers to ‘the unknown’ for a reason. If someone had all the answers, it would be ‘known’ and terms like paranormal wouldn’t exist.

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